John Holt, the reggae musician best known for his hits ‘Stick By Me’ and ‘Ali Baba’, has died at the age of 69.
The Jamaican singer died in hospital in Sunday night, his manager confirmed to theJamaica Observer Online. His cause of death is yet to be confirmed.
John first found success in the music industry as the lead singer of the reggae group The Paragons in the 1960s, who penned the track ‘The Tide Is High’, which was later covered byBlondie, reaching the top of the UK singles charts.
After leaving the group in 1970 to focus on his solo music career, John penned the song ‘Stick By Me’, his most successful solo effort, which was the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972.
Throughout his music career – which saw him release singles ‘I See Your Face’, and a cover of ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ – he became recognisable for his slower and more romantic take on reggae music. His most recent solo album, ‘Peace Maker’, was released in 1993.
John had been battling ill health for a lengthy period, collapsing on stage during a performance at the One Love concert in London, after which he underwent surgery and was recovering in Britain.
His manager, Copeland Forbes, confirmed that John had died in hospital in the early hours of Monday morning, saying: “John died at 2:40 am English time. His nephew informed of his death.”